A Discouraging Sunday

Discussion in 'Personal Advice, Care & Prayers' started by Adam Warlock, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    This morning, I traveled to visit family. I wanted to attend worship before I arrived, but my parish is far from their home and in the opposite direction. So, since there was an Episcopal parish near their home (no ACNA nearby), I decided to visit there this morning.

    There were two priests there. One of them promoted a clear "works righteousness" theology, talking about the necessity of works of social justice to make ourselves right with God. The other priest, who delivered the homily, was some kind of mystical Gnostic. He walked up and down the aisles saying "I see the Divine in your aura" or things to that effect. He read the Gospel reading from a Jesus Seminar book, he talked repeatedly about "the Divine in all people and all things in the universe," and he encouraged the worshipers to attend his "alternative spiritualities" Sunday School class. In that class, they study meditation techniques from India and SE Asia as a way to draw closer to "the Divine." And there was much, much more; but you get the idea.

    The entire experience was surreal. This parish was nothing more than a nest of New Age experimentation. Other than the liturgy, there was nothing Christian about it. It was extraordinarily discouraging, and it forced me to confront certain questions about being in "communion" with such people - or with a bishop who allows this to go on.

    Why do I share this? Because it was such an eye-opener. With GC on the horizon, this was a powerful reminder of how far the two sides of orthodoxy and heresy are from one another. What I witnessed earlier was an assault on the Gospel. No, it was beyond that; it was a silencing of the Gospel and a victory of self-worship. Immediate, fervent prayer is needed even more desperately than I had realized. I really wish that ACNA would plant a church out here. This garbage was a kick to the gut, and it really rattled me.

    Lord, have mercy.
     
  2. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Adam,
    It must have been a shock to witness this firsthand. I can only imagine your discouragement. It breaks my heart just reading your post.

    I've heard about things like what you described going on in Episcopal Churches; but it's difficult to grasp, when my own Parish is so orthodox. Yet, I know it is out there; and it seems to be gaining momentum.

    As you said the General Convention is approaching. We already know that controversial changes involving same-gender issues will pass.

    I don't know what the future holds for TEC. I really wish none had broken away; because maybe we would have a better chance to restore orthodoxy throughout TEC----but then I can't blame them for leaving either. We don't know what loyalties Bishops were asking of Parishes that left TEC. The politics behind all of these changes is so complicated. In the end, we must all yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and follow our conscience.

    The reality is that orthodox Anglicans are leaving and liberal, new age, pro-gay union, proponents, etc., both churched and previously unchurched, are entering. As I've said many times before, this is how TEC is being hijacked.

    I agree: Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

    Peace and blessings,
    Anna
     
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  3. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much, Anna. You know me; my fiery wrath required an astonishing amount of restraint today. :D :rolleyes: I'm still sort of processing the whole thing...don't want to overreact, because my place of worship openly opposes those who do these things. Even so...it gives me a lot to think about, and another reason to pray without ceasing.
     
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  4. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Adam,

    I can tell it shook you up a bit. I think it would have affected me the same way. I do admire your restraint.

    It does, indeed, give us reason to pray without ceasing.

    We need to ask for help from our Monastic brethren, who devote much time to prayer. :D

    May the peace of the Lord be with you now and always,
    Anna
     
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  5. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Not what one would expect at an Anglican service, but it sound fascinating...

    So was the first fellow promoting good works or faith from which goods works springs forth as James says in his Epistle?

    The second fellow sounds fascinating...

    I do have to agree with him about 'the Divine in all people and all things in the universe', God is Divine and the pure essence of Love anything he creates must have the essence of the Divine in it including that bug you just stood on.... :D

    Not the type of service of I would want to go to every week, as I used to and became dis-enchanted with the charlatans that tend to be attracted to those types of services...

    Never the less for every crackpot out there - they to have a message with some message in it... :) even if it is to tell you this place is not for you...

    alas though I have crack potted out....
     
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure out Lord Jesus taught us not to judge or over react as well..... 'ahaaaa a lot to think about and pray think about, the Lords work has been done...' :D
     
  7. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    Oh it wasn't the James thing. I am very careful about throwing around "works righteousness" accusations. This was a fringe form of the Social Gospel in which we must actively promote a form of the liberal agenda to be right with God.

    And the priest who presented the sermon was promoting pantheism. Since we all contain The Divine, any religion or belief system that is sincere honors that Divine.
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    A strong post Adam. I am facing the same issues as well. Where was this 'church' in the general geographical area?

    It is heresy, plain and clear.
     
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  9. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Gordon! Insects don't have the 'essence of the divine' in them! :o Franciscans, jeez!

    Human beings are special Temples of the Holy Spirit. He hovered over the waters - didn't swim in them. :p To see the divine in all things is quite heretical, but to see the divine behind all things, perhaps, would be better. Sometimes you can just tell by the language used (and not used...) to identify an unorthodox priest.

    Adam, all that stuff really stinks... why not be an ACNA church planter yourself, and start an orthodox Morning Prayer/Litany/Ante-Communion Sunday service with those who care? Maybe you'll appear on Duncan's radar... :)
     
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  10. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    I'll PM you
     
  11. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    With respect you seem to throw the word heretic and heretical around a bit and I personally don't think it does anyones credibility any justice in doing it or highlighting views or beliefs forcefully, not in here anyway we all breath the same air and are creations of the same God.

    As most of you would be aware St. Francis had a very deep love of all nature and did not cherry pick what were the good bits and what were the bad bits, he accepted all of Gods creation as divine. In my humble opinion all of Gods creation must have the essence of divine in it if and to say it not is disrespecting Gods creation. Look at the respect our Lord Jesus Christ had for all
    creation:

    Read the Chapter 1 of Genesis the creation story and note how God saw all his creation as 'good' even the earth, the water, the vegetation. If God made it, it is has the essence of the divine in it....

    Your statement 'Insects don't have the essence of the divine', I don't understand how you determine what is divine in Gods creation and what is not, so how did you come to that conclusion. What is the list of things that are 'in' and what is the list of things that are 'out'?

    Blessings, Gordon
     
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  12. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We both gladly and joyously agree that life is breathed into us by the same holy, glorious, majestic Person Who breathes life into the insects: the Holy Spirit. In that sense, you can call all creation 'divine', since it comes from God. Praise Him for extending His goodness and Being into all the Cosmos that now is!

    That comparison of our Lord and Saviour was so we might remember how much more valuable we are than the lilies! That's a great example of the point I didn't really make very well. As much as Brother (deacon?) Francis liked to call birds "my little sisters" and whatever else, it's only true in a created-order sense, not in a spiritual sense.

    Why? The lilies and flies cannot make the decision to accept Jesus into their doorways and become a Temple of the Holy Spirit like we can, for instance. In that way, I agree that we spiritual human beings have 'the divine in us'; however, greeting 'the divine in us' in a sort of pantheistic, Anima-driven way, as if all flesh and creation is somehow divine or has an aura of divinity, is not acceptable, at least not from a Dominican-influenced standpoint! :D

    If it can be put in a Christian light that is orthodox, I'll definitely accepted it! I'm not against poetic words... they're just easy to use when trying to cloak heresy.

    I use the word heresy and heretic because they are real and often ignored in the contemporary church. I feel the need to balance out what others are doing, so we never go too far to the extreme. I am sorry for so often going over the edge myself to extremes.

    There is nothing to be debated here, though I would add that things were called very good only after man and woman were made. We complete it, because we are the mirror image of His glorious Word, made incarnate thereafter, in order that the Cosmos may be perfected (yes, I agree with Scotus)!

    Nothing is outside God's creative majesty and dominion, of course. :)

    May God bless you too, I do pray!
     
  13. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I most certainly can, and I did...


    St. Francis saw the divine in everything and I have no idea where you get the idea he would have bothered to split hairs on spiritual or created-order sense...

    Sorry I don't see your point what has Gods divine essence in his creation got to do with accepting Jesus? The lilies of the field just are what they are they have reason to accept anything. Whereas we are aware that we are and have the knowledge of good and not so good, we are in a position to decide if we want to accept Christ or not, I don't see how that makes us any more or any less part of the divine essence of Gods creation.

    I love the comments made by some people to try and put a name to something to try and describe it in relation to their own beliefs. "in a sort of pantheistic, Anima-driven way" I mean really what does that mean?

    As is the verbosity of words used to cloak depth of in-experience and insecurity... :p (is that what we are supposed to do if it is a joke?)


     
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